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Book review

Author(s) Mohapatra, Rabindra N.
Title Unification and Supersymmetry (2nd edition)
Publisher Springer
Year of publication 1992
Reviewed by Paul Blaga

The book under review is an introduotion to supersymmetric field theories, as applied to the physics of elementary particles. There are serious reasons to believe that this kind of theories could play an important role in the unification of the fundamental interactions. The book is based on advanced graduate courses offered by the author at two american universities. The first edition of the course has been published in 1986, also by Springer.

From pedagogical reasons, the author divided the contents of the book in two parts. The first part (eight chapters) is concerned with the classical (i.e. non-supersymmetrical) gauge theories, as applied to different unification sceneries, from eleatroweak theory to grand unification.The remaining nine chapters are devoted to the discussion of global and local supersymmetry and its applications to particle interactions. Between the topics touched, I should mentions supersymmetric gauge theories, broken supersymmetry, supersymmetric grand unification, local N=1 supersymmetry and supergravity as applied to particle physics, the possibilities beyond N=1. The last chapter is added at this second edition and is dealing with the relationships between superstrings and quark-lepton physics and, also, to the problem of compactification by means of Calabi-Yau manifolds. Apart from this extra chapter, the text has been, also, expanded and exercises have been added after each chapter.

There are many good books on particle physics, but this one is different in some respects. A thing that anybody will remark is that the author gives the same importance to classical and supersymmetrical field theories. In most of the textbooks one of the two topics is only touched on, or even omitted. Nevertheless, it cannot be understood the importance of supersymmetry without knowing first the difficulties and the deadlocks of the classical theory. The book has been written with a great pedagogical care, the exercises completing and developing the informations from the text. A great attention is payed to the physical motivations, although the technical part is not neglected. The book, in this second edition, is updated, there are included many results obtained in the last years (some of them belonging to the author himself). Extenslve reference lists are added after each chapter, guiding the reader through the jungle of journal literature. As for the preresquisites, here they are: an advanced course in quantum field theory, a course in group theory, basic particle theory and a familiarity with gauge theories.

Al1 in all, this an excelent introduction to this fascinating field and it is highly recommended to graduate students in particle physics, particle theorist and experimentalist. Cosmologists mill benefit, also, by reading this book if they are interested in grand unification theories, as related to the theory of very early universe.